This recipe should be printed out, yummed, tweeted about and facebook shared to the whole world. It’s a more than the sum of its parts soup that despite being vegan feels as hearty as a lamb shank. The subtle muskiness fennel seeds and the heat from the chilli flakes give it a surprisingly illicit, silky flavour, like burying your face in a drawer full of new silk undergarments. Better still at only 434 calories a bowl it’s my magic weight loss soup and is going to help you lose weight without having to resort to that dismal cabbage soup that people punish themselves with. Make this today, you’ll lose weight and might even need to buy yourself a new, more svelte pair of silk knickers.
The adapted recipe below is originally from a River Cafe Easy book – go and buy them if you like simple, fast recipes with lots of flavour. The soups in the book are thick chunky Italian affairs, more like stews than a thin soup. They’ll turn any idea that soup can’t be a meal on its own on their head.
There are a few ways you can change this recipe up if you want. Spinach or chard / silver beet can replace the kale. Just skip the blanching step and put it straight into the soup and let it cook for a few minutes to soften. If you’re not a vegetarian you can use chicken stock instead of vegetable. If you’re not a fan of spice, skip the chilli flakes. If you’re not trying to lose weight at all, go ahead and drizzle some olive oil on your bowl and give it a generous grate of parmesan.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 200 gram tomato (tinned is fine), peeled and seeded if fresh
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 400 gram cooked borlotti beans, (tinned is fine)
- 1 bunch kale, leaves removed from stems and chopped roughly
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.
- Ad the carrot and celery and cook for a further 10 - 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the chilli flakes and fennel seeds then season and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the tomato, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally.
- Add in the stock and beans and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime boil a pot full of water and add the kale. Cook for 3 minutes, then drain most of the liquid away, reserving about ¼ of a cup.
- Add the cooked kale and its cooking water into the soup and stir. Serve.